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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2007 Jun;31(6):1099-105. Epub 2007 Mar 19.

Benefits of cardiac surgery in octogenarians--a postoperative quality of life assessment.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Hospital of Lausanne, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.



Assessment of postoperative quality of life in patients over 80 years after cardiac surgery including coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), aortic valve replacement (AVR) and combined procedures.


Quality of life of n=136 patients over 80 years at operation (82.3+/-2.1 years), undergoing isolated CABG in 61 patients (45%), isolated AVR in 34 patients (25%) and a combination of CABG and AVR in 41 patients (30%) between January 1999 and December 2003 was reviewed. Preoperatively 66.2% presented in NYHA-class III/IV or CCS-class III/IV. Mean ejection fraction (EF) was 59.5%+/-14.0 (range 25-90%). Quality of life assessment was performed via a Seattle Angina Questionnaire. Follow-up was 100% complete for a total of 890 days (69-1853 days).


Five-year survival was 70% for the CABG group, 75% for the AVR group and 65% for the CABG/AVR group. Quality of life was remarkable in all of the three groups after surgery. Overall 97 patients (81%) were not or little disabled in their daily activity. One hundred and twelve patients (93%) were free or considerably less symptomatic. Seventy-eight patients or 65% reported to be very satisfied with their current quality of life and 112 patients (93%) felt very reassured to have continuous full access to medical treatment despite of their advanced age.


A remarkable quality of life and important improvement in the functional status after cardiac surgery in patients over 80 paired with a satisfactory medium-term survival justify early intervention for heart disease in this age group. Therefore, referral practice for patients over 80 years for heart surgery should be handled liberally.

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